Friday Update 2-27-15

Greetings faithful readers. Must be something in the air. Last week we focused on the SAMHSA Administrator and a congressional committee that seemed so far apart. In a week or so we will be in a community observing the AOT process with a group of advocates that, at least on paper, seem so far apart. And we couldn't be happier. Why? Because when you bring opposites together you exponentially increase the opportunity for magic to happen. So what better way to start this edition of Friday Update than with the classic Arrowsmith - Run-DMC "Walk this way" collaboration. Get your groove on and then get to readin' Friday Update, cuz we got work to do!

Most important reads for this week 

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored 
February was quite the month for SAMHSA; firmly in the crosshairs of the  House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), who any day now, will reintroduce his Helping All Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. In the midst of this swirl of activity are ongoing accusations of SAMHSA shunning the SMI population, leadership not understanding the definition of SMI, mission drift, and laser-focus and somewhat dramatic scrutiny on specific activities, such as conferences, websites and coloring books. Okay folks, everyone take a breath. Let's slow this train down before it gets completely out of hand. 

Letter to the mother of a "Schizophrenic:" We must do better than forced treatment and Laura's Law 
Give a hearty welcome to our newest Morning Zen guest author, Will Hall. As part of our ongoing dialogue on assisted outpatient treatment (AOT), we strive to offer you a variety of viewpoints to sharpen your critical thinking on the complexities involved in the process of AOT. In this beautifully written letter to the mother of a "Schizophrenic", the author challenges the premise that when "people are suffering so greatly and everything else has been tried, we have no choice but to infringe on freedom." Thank you, Will, for sharing of yourself in this deeply personal way. 

Joining the TCK Community 
Network faithful are encouraged to find a quiet place to soak in the words from this heartfelt Morning Zen post from one of our most widely read contributors, Nina Sichel. Nina's writings on the realities of Third Culture Kids (TCK's) always sparks comments from readers across the globe. This post is no different. Enjoy!

28th Annual Research & Policy Conference just around the corner! 
We are just three weeks away from the 28th Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavior. And guess what? It's still snowin' in the north and still sunny and warm in balmy Tampa, Florida. Just sayin... Get on it, Network faithful! Be sure to check out the amazing pre-conference intensives happening on Sunday, March 22nd. 

What does trauma-informed care for children mean to you? 
Okay, Network faithful, time to do your part to help out a worthy effort. Do you have a role in behavioral health, child welfare, juvenile justice, education, pediatrics, or any other child-serving system (including family advocates)? If so, please take 10 minutes to say what trauma-informed care (TIC) means to you, and to what extent it has been implemented in your agency or system. This is an anonymous, national survey designed to learn more about the key principles of trauma informed care in human services for children, youth, and families. 

Women of Color Health Data Book 
From the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, this databook provides U. S. Census data on different populations of U.S. women and health updates for women of color. 

Youth Marijuana Use: Consumption, Consequence, and Risk and Protective Factor Data Resources 
This newest addition to the SAMHSA Center for Application of Prevention Technology's suite of products on youth marijuana use offers prevention practitioners a comprehensive listing of available data resources and surveys developed by a range of federal agencies. 

New reports highlight the human service needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning populations 
One challenge to addressing the human service needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) populations is a lack of relevant research. This blog post summarizes two new reports published by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) which describe what is known and discuss areas for future research related to the use of human services by LGBTQ populations. 

Inside NIMH: 2015 Winter 
This issue of Inside NIMH provides updates on the new 2015 NIMH Strategic Plan, new grants available through the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, guidelines to enhance the reproducibility and validity of clinical trials, clarifying expectations for data sharing, and more. 

Child Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation: Health Care Needs of Victims 
Child sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) are major public health problems in the United States and throughout the world. Despite large numbers of American and foreign youth affected and a plethora of serious physical and mental health problems associated with CSEC, there is limited information available to pediatricians regarding the nature and scope of human trafficking and how pediatricians and other health care providers may help protect children. 

Trauma Screening, Identification and Referral in Pediatric Practice 
Pediatricians can play a critical role in identifying children suffering from child traumatic stress and connecting families to effective treatment. Connecticut has a terrific training module for pediatricians and child health providers called "Trauma Screening, Identification and Referral in Pediatric Practice."  

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Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO 

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